Arizona divided over immigration

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Anchor Marco Werman speaks with reporter Valeria Fernandez about the massive human trafficking crackdown in Arizona?and a controversial new bill that would give local authorities sweeping powers to check the status of anyone they suspect might be an illegal immigrant. Fernandez is a reporter with Feet in 2 Worlds, a project that brings the work of immigrant journalists to public radio.

ERMAN: Okay, here is the other side of the argument. This is father Glenn Jencks who represents the Valley Interfaith Network, that's a group that has been critical of this legislation.

GLENN JENCKS: The content of this particular bill is especially hateful. I believe it is intended to be hateful. The proponents make no attempt to hide the fact that they want to drive every undocumented person out of the state of Arizona. What they don't think about is these people have families and the families are going to go with them. And the consequences to the state are so dramatic. It's to shoot yourself in the foot again.

WERMAN: Valeria, practically speaking, is this legislation dividing Arizona?

FERNANDEZ: Well you have families of mixed status. People that are undocumented immigrants that have children that are U.S. citizens and now they're going to have to make a decision of whether or not they want to leave the state and leave the country. Businesses are concerned that it's going to drive investment away from the state and that it's not going to bring positive solutions for the community as a whole to a problem that is very real.

WERMAN: Valeria Fernandez, a reporter with Feet in Two Worlds, a project of the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School in New York. Thank you very much Valeria for your time.

FERNANDEZ: Thank you very much Marco.